Reactive Champion is a blog for anyone who lives with and loves a reactive, fearful, anxious, or otherwise difficult dog. Blending science, seminar reports, and personal stories, my goal is to help others better understand their dog’s crazy behavior. I want people to know they aren’t alone in their struggles, and that there is hope for improvement. I hope that by doing this, I can help strengthen and deepen the relationship between my readers and their dogs.
The star of our blog is Maisy, an 8-year-old corgi-poodle mix (which just proves "designer dogs" can and do shed!). Maisy was born in a puppy mill, a fact that has left her with a number of medical and emotional problems, including the generalized anxiety disorder that was the impetuous for this blog. Maisy is smart and funny and charming. She was my initiation into the world of dog sports, my rock during hard times, and the catalyst for some of the best things to ever happen to me.
Maisy's sidekick is the newly-adopted Pyg, a 1-year-old shih-tzu/something mix who ended up in rescue at 12 weeks of age with his mother and two siblings. He's outgoing and confident and playful, but also a complete snuggle-bug. He's been a real eye-opener for me into the world of “normal” dogs, and I can't wait to see what kind of sports we'll do together!
I inherited two dogs when I got engaged. Lola is a 4-year-old basset hound, and she's as sweet as the day is long. She's has only the most basic of training, and so far, that seems to be enough. I doubt we'll do any sports together, but that's okay. I adore her just the same.
Pyg's best friend is Napi, my other inherited dog. He's a 2-year-old chihuahua (mix?) and the two boys play and play and play! I'm so glad we have them both, even if Napi is a bit naughty. It's not his fault though; he was rescued by my fiance from physically abusive neighbors and is fear-reactive as a result. Although I was disappointed to discover this, I know he'll be worth the work!
My name is Crystal Thompson. I’m a social worker by day, and a dog trainer by night. I am a CPDT-KA and have taught at PetSmart and Paws Abilities Dog Training. I believe in training without pain, fear, or intimidation, but strive to meet people wherever they are. We’re all just doing the best we can, and my goal is to help others learn how to train in ways that furthers their relationship with their dog.
Disclaimer: Although I write about various techniques for working with dogs with behavioral problems, this blog is not intended to replace an in-person consultation with a canine professional. If you are experiencing problems with your dog, please consult with a professional before attempting any of the techniques described in this blog. I assume no liability for injury to you or your dog incurred by following these descriptions or procedures.